Why won’t my puppy pee and poop outside? Here’s What to Do Next

Is My Dog Doing This on Purpose?

Your dog isn’t deciding to poop in the house to intentionally upset you, but if this happens regularly, there’s something that needs to be addressed. Whether your dog can’t help doing it or they’re choosing to poop inside rather than outside, there are reasons that this is happening and things that you can do about it.

It’s common for dogs to need to poop frequently when they’re feeling sick. Dogs can get diarrhea occasionally too, which will make them have to poop more often.

If your dog has any other gastrointestinal issues, such as parasites, it can lead to more frequent pooping that they may not be able to hold until you take them outside.

Older dogs or dogs with injuries could be in pain when they squat to poop. Arthritis and joint issues can make it hard for dogs to poop comfortably. This means even if they go outside, they will hold it until they really can’t any longer. They’ll most likely be inside when that time comes.

Why won’t my puppy pee and poop outside?

  • If your dog’s diarrhea isn’t clearing up within 24 hours, take them to the vet for treatment. Sometimes, diarrhea is the symptom of a serious condition, and your vet will be able to determine what’s going on. A stool sample may be taken to check your dog for parasites.
  • If your dog is in pain when they try to poop, your vet may also be able to provide relief. Hesitating to squat, shaking, or crying as they poop are signs that pooping is uncomfortable for your dog. Your vet can discuss pain relief options with you.
  • The Challenge of Adults vs. Puppies

    Although the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” isn’t entirely accurate, it could be more challenging to teach an older dog to use the outdoors as their restroom than a puppy.

    Puppies will naturally have to go to the restroom inside of your home at first. In fact, many veterinarians discourage owners from taking puppies outside until the animal has their complete set of vaccinations, which is at around 16 weeks.

    To complicate things, some trainers label dogs as picking up a habit if they do something for over 30 days. So, most puppies develop the habit of going to the bathroom indoors before you have the chance to teach them to break it.

    You might use indoor potty pads during this time, which can make the outdoors feel unnatural to the puppy once you’re ready to transition them.

    In the case of adult dogs, a history of neglect or spending excessive amounts of time in a cage can force them to make pooping indoors a habit. If you adopt an adult dog, they may have learned indoor pooping habits either from their previous owner or by living in a cage at the shelter.

    Why won’t my puppy pee and poop outside?

    Teach your dog to ring a bell to go outside.

    By teaching your pooch that ringing a doggie doorbell means she gets to go outside to pee, we can teach her how to ask to go out. And if she knows how to ask, she can use this tool to go outside when needed.

  • Start by teaching your dog to ring the bells with her nose or paw. She will likely be curious about the bells, so as soon as she goes to sniff them, click the nose touching the bells and toss a treat away from the bells. Tossing the treats redirected her away from the bells, so then she has to come back and do the behavior again in order to earn another treat. Put the bells away when you’re not training.
  • If she actually rings the bells, rather than just lightly touching them, give her a jackpot! This means giving her a few treats, lots of praise and acting excited — don’t hold back! It’s a celebration!
  • Eventually, you want her to start ringing the bells consistently. They have to make a ringing noise. Click your clicker (if you’re using one to train her) and treat her each time she makes the bells ring.
  • The next step is to get her to ring the bells, click your clicker, open the door and toss a treat outside. She will learn that when she rings the bell, the door opens, she gets to go outside, and then she gets a reward. We want her to learn that ringing the bell means that she gets to go potty, specifically. Not ring bells to get mom’s attention, or ring bells to get dad to open the door five times in one minute!
  • In order to teach her that bells equal potty time, place the bells on the door only when you plan to take her out to pee. When she rings the bell, click and treat, walk out the door to her spot, and then throw a big party (treats, pats, and praise!)
  • Once she is fairly consistent, you can start to leave the bells on the door all the time, so she uses them to ask to go outside for a pee. Just be sure to continue to praise her when she completes the procedure.
  • my puppy won’t poop outside | why won’t my puppy poop outside

    There are all kinds of reasons that your dog doesn’t want to poop outside — maybe the weather isn’t so great, or your dog is easily distracted by squirrels. Finding out the reason is the first and most important step to fixing the problem, and everything else is about patience.

    We go over common reasons that dogs won’t poop outside and how to handle each one.